Whether developing yet another top‑notch Arizona guard or drawing nationally‑recognized talent to Tucson, eighth‑year assistant coach Rodney Tention continues to impact the UA basketball program in a positive fashion. While he works primarily with the UA perimeter players, he also helps with the scouting of opponents, game day preparation and is one of the main cogs in the UA's nationally‑renowned recruiting efforts. It is no small coincidence that since his arrival at the UA, the program has won 179 of 229 games (.782) and produced some of the best backcourt talent in college basketball.
Not only has Tention proven his ability to consistently deliver some of the nation’s best recruiting classes, but develop that talent into college All-Americans and NBA standouts. Since joining the Wildcat program in April 1997, Tention’s perimeter players have proven to be among the best anywhere. In addition to Miles Simon, Mike Bibby, Jason Terry, Gilbert Arenas, and Jason Gardner, the 2004-05 Arizona backcourt with all-Pac-10 performer Salim Stoudamire and all-Freshman standout Mustafa Shakur has the talent and ability that few programs can match.
Prior to his arrival in Tucson, Tention spent six seasons at Division II College of Notre Dame in Belmont, Calif. He spent three years as an assistant for the Argonauts from 1991-94, recruiting the talent that led the school to its first NCAC playoff appearance in 1994, and three years (1994-97) as the head coach.
Before heading to the College of Notre Dame, Tention served as a graduate assistant coach at the University of South Florida in Tampa from 1989‑91. In fact, his team faced Olson's Wildcats in the first round of the 1990 NCAA Tournament in Long Beach, Calif., a 79‑67 Arizona victory. He received his start in the collegiate coaching ranks as an assistant coach at Skyline Community College in San Bruno, Calif. during the 1988‑89 campaign in which the team captured the Coast Conference Championship.
Tention played collegiate basketball at the University of San Francisco from 1985‑88, where he was a two‑year captain and the team's most valuable player. At USF, he played for Jim Brovelli, who recently served as an assistant coach with the NBA's Denver Nuggets. Tention competed in the junior college ranks at Grossmont Community College and was the squad's captain and MVP during the 1984‑85 season. He also played at the Air Force Academy in 1983‑84.
Tention received a bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of San Francisco in 1988 and earned a master's in public administration from the College of Notre Dame in 1995.
He and his wife, Rebecca, have two sons, Justice (8) and Miles (5).